Despite Jose Mourinho’s claims that his side are victims of poor refereeing too often, his Premier League rival Roberto Martinez believes that Chelsea are doing everything they can to “influence” referees’ decision.
Mourinho was on Sky Sports show ‘Goals On Sunday’ the day after the 1-1 draw against Burnley at Stamford Bridge, which he used as an example of the poor refereeing he believes is undermining the Blues’ march to the Premier League title.
However, Everton’s manager, who saw his team lost 1-0 at Chelsea just over a week ago, wrote in programme notes before the game with Leicester City that he believes Mourinho’s men are having too much influence over officials at Stamford Bridge and are deliberately trying to sway decisions.
In that match Gareth Barry was, correctly, sent off for two bookable offences but Martinez felt that the bookings being handed out were on the harsh side and felt that an early yellow for Muhamed Besic set the tone for the match.
“Unfortunately, the sending off really late on reflected the emphasis that the home team had in trying to influence the referee and take advantage of their role of playing at Stamford Bridge,” Martínez wrote,” he said, being quoted by The Times.
“Mo Besic being booked after five minutes was a very loose way to referee a game and there was no need to show as many yellow cards as there were. But, more importantly, I never felt there was any consistency in judging every action equally between the two teams.
“That made it a tougher way to digest a defeat that we didn’t deserve and showed a very similar ending to last season’s game at Stamford Bridge.”
While Mourinho has complained that Diego Costa is being demonised and referees keep making poor decisions that cost Chelsea, in the match with Everton he refused to acknowledge that Branislav Ivanovic could have seen red for getting James McCarthy in a choke hold and appeared to head butt him.
Mourinho also felt, perhaps less controversially, that Ashley Barnes should have been sent off for a challenge on Ivanovic in the first half, before the challenge on Nemanja Matic that certainly warranted a red card.
Matic reacted angrily and was dismissed by referee Martin Atkinson, leaving Chelsea with ten men for 20 minutes and giving up an equaliser with eight minutes remaining. Barnes’ challenge was terrible and could have broken the midfielder’s led, but Matic left the referee with no choice by pushing him to the ground in retaliation.